The climate of the Arctic is changing faster than any other region of the planet. Although greenhouse gases are the main driver of global warming, the particularly rapid rise in temperature and seasonal loss of sea ice in the Arctic have a more complex explanation. Changes in air pollution (aerosols) and local feedbacks involving aerosols, clouds and sea ice are important processes, but their effects are very poorly represented in climate models.
This project aims to improve our understanding of how aerosol and cloud processes influence climate change in the Arctic. The research will involve running advanced, high-resolution aerosol and cloud models from the scale of a few metres up to the global scale. Model simulations combined with extensive recent observations will be used to understand how the climatic effects of clouds are altered by aerosols from air pollution as well as changes in aerosol from natural sources as sea ice retreats. Improvement in our understanding will then feed through to improvements in the UK climate model, providing the opportunity for the student to contribute to improved Arctic climate projections. The PhD provides a great opportunity to become involved in Arctic research at a time when several international initiatives and major projects are coordinating programmes of Arctic research and making extensive measurements that can be used to test climate models.